Dane County is Seeking Comment on its Updated Natural Hazards Mitigation Plan

Natural Hazard Mitigation Planning

Tornado approaching a local residential district

Dane County is subject to natural hazards that threaten life and health and cause extensive property damage. Dane County has received Federal disaster declarations on 15 occasions since 1976. That equates to a frequency of a natural disaster declaration nearly every three years. In addition, almost every year, there are significant weather events that cause major damages for which Federal disaster assistance is not granted.

Most people who live or work in Dane County have been affected by natural hazards in one way or another. Dane County and its residents are vulnerable to a variety of hazards including extreme temperatures, severe winter weather, tornadoes, and floods. Natural hazards in Dane County have caused injury and loss of life, severe property damage, interruption of the delivery of vital goods and services, disruption of local economies, and harm to the natural environment.

Plan Update

Cleanup after a flood

In response to these concerns, Dane County Executive Joe Parisi has directed the Department of Emergency to update the County’s plan to minimize future losses resulting from natural hazards. A planning team has been meeting for more than a year, gathering information and summarizing the concerns of local officials and citizens throughout the County.

In this update cycle, the plan addresses the threat of natural hazards in light of the region’s changing climate. The plan examines climate trends and determine their projected impacts on natural hazards such as flooding and extreme heat. The inclusion of climate change factors will ensure Dane County takes appropriate steps to protect its citizens’ personal and economic safety, now and for future generations.

This draft plan is the second update of Dane County’s Natural Hazards Mitigation Plan. The first version of the plan was adopted in May of 2005, with an update adopted in May of 2010.

Ultimately, the updated Plan will be adopted by the Dane County Board of Supervisors and recognized by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as the County’s official plan. This will enable the County to apply for grants to implement projects and programs identified in the Plan.

Public Comment

Before submitting to the draft plan to the County Board, the planning team would like to give citizens an additional opportunity to comment on the plan. Public involvement essential to the planning process. We encourage people to express their concerns. This is your opportunity to have a voice in setting priorities and developing countywide and local hazard mitigation strategies.


Updated Hazard Mitigation Strategy

The plan outlines a strategy with specific programs and policies that can be implemented by Dane County and local units of government within Dane County to reduce the impact of natural hazards on people, structures, and the natural environment. A wide range of hazard mitigation projects are being considered, from small individual actions to large scale community projects.


Draft Plan Documents

The draft plan is available for download here:

Entire Plan Document (without Appendices or Attachments)

Plan Sections:

Hazard Mitigation Plan - 2017 Update

The plan was prepared as a multi-jurisdictional plan. All 61 local units of government in the County were invited to participate in the planning process. The decision whether or not to participate in this process was a local decision, based on local community needs. Thirty-seven local governments have opted to participate in this effort.

Each of these municipalities has completed a local hazard assessment and has identified mitigation projects to be performed locally. You are also invited to review and comment on attachments to the County plan for these localities:

Members of the community have a very important role in this process. Please visit our feedback page if you have any questions or comments that you would like to send.

In reviewing the plan, please consider the questions listed below. Your response to these questions will assist the planning team in making adjustments to the plan before submitting to the County Board for adoption.

  1. Does the plan adequately address the natural hazards related problems you think are most significant? What changes would be necessary?
  2. Is it feasible to implement the plan? Why or Why not?
  3. Are there specific objectives that you feel should be a particularly high or low priority? Why?
  4. The plan identifies many different perspectives on flooding and flood related issues in Dane County. What do you see as the County’s biggest flood related problem?
  5. Would you support adoption of this plan? If not, what adjustments would need to be made to gain your support?

We invite and appreciate your participation!